Ajit Nayak Murdered
Ajit Nayak was vocal about a variety of issues, and his death triggered demonstrations in Dandeli, Sirsi and Karwar.

Popular lawyer and activist Ajit Nayak was murdered on July 22 in Dandeli, a small town in Uttara Kannada. His murder has triggered demonstrations and protests in Dandeli and nearby towns.

As news of Ajit's murder spread, many people gathered at the hospital in solidarity where his body was kept. The killing also drew reactions from members of bar associations in nearby Sirsi and Karwar, with many members boycotting court proceedings on July 28.

Ajit, who was very vocal about various environmental causes like the rejuvenation of the Kali River, was returning home from his office in JN Road at around 9:30 pm when he was attacked by ah unknown number of assailants, who used sharp weapons to hack at him. At this point, the police suspect his activism to be the cause of the attack.

He sustained Injuries on the left side of his head and on his ear, and was rushed to a nearby hospital by passers-by. However, he succumbed to his injuries on the way and doctors declared that he was brought dead. Meanwhile, the attackers fled the spot immediately.

Ajit was the prudent of the Dandeli Taluk Horata Samiti and an active campaigner in the Kali Bachao Andolan, a movement to safeguard the Kali River from damming, industrial pollution and rampant sand mining. Ajit was also worked as the president of the Dandeli Block Congress Committee fort some time.

He was also vocal in the implementation of the Real Estate Regulatory Authority reforms in Karnataka and various other causes like anti-corruption.

While Deputy Superintendent of Police Mohan Prasad and inspector Aneesh Mujawar visited the scene of crime, police officials investigating the case said that they are yet to find leads in the case.

A case has been registered in Dandeli Town Police station. Besides Mohan Prasad and Aneesh Mujawar, Sub-inspector Ullas Parmar is also in charge of the investigation.

Ullas said, "No arrests have been made. All angles are being proved. We have gathered CCTV footage from his office but that has not helped us identify the attackers".

"This is not a rare occurrence but a continuum in the line of attacks on human rights lawyers and Right to Information activists witnessed across the country. According to Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, an international non-governmental organisation, mapping the attack on Right to Information activists through media reports states that until now there have been 428 cases of attacks on right to information activists—73 killed, 166 auuaulted, 183 harassed and 6 committed suicide. They have reported 35 cases of attack alone in the State of Karnataka where eight of the activists have been killed".
Prajwal Bhat, Karnataka

Para Teachers
Very recent past Mr Parth Chatterjee, Education Minister of West Bengal announced some gifts to the para-teachers (Primary & Higher Secondary level) because the parliamentary election is ahead. His gifts of benefits are salary hike, PF facility, maternity benefits and so forth. Para-teachers of West Bengal are really fortunate for these gifts and they would also be undoubtedly happy with this.

Mr Chatterjee also shared good news which might be extremely bad considering the fortune of education in Government Sponsored, Government Aided schools in West Bengal and also for educated unemployed job aspirants. He declared that the rate of recruitment of para-teachers would be increased from 10% to 30%. Mr Chatterjee viewed that his government has taken this decision to improve quality of education in West Bengal.

Is it a right step to improve quality of school education in West Bengal! Is it not a big conspiracy to quit support of government in school ecuation? Is it not enough to encourage and promote privatisation in education? One sees that privatisation of education has already been reached to the rural villages of Bengal. There are a sizable number of Kidergarten Schools, English Medium Schools under different boards/councils in remote areas. These parallel private education systems have successfully achieved the target when these are more faithful than government schools to the parents. Therefore, enrollment of students decrases in government schools (Primary and Secondary level).

The government of West Bengal has been trying to fulfil a number of goals:
a)   To avoid burden of appointment of full-time teachers to reduce goverment expenses in education and to abolish the School Service Commission;
b)  To appoint the cadre of TMC for which this party would abuse the educated unemployed absolutely for their own political purpose.
c)   This government does not bear its constitutional duty for free and compulsory education to all. It tries to promote privatisation and it is enough to understand that education of children is absolute responsibility of parents, it is not of state.

Further, it is a declaration of de-motivation to the educated unemployed youth of Bengal. This government has already truncated the scope of employment in public sector public undertaking. It would be an additional blow. The government is trying to convince that there is no scope of permanent job. All jobs are contractual. In schools 30% teachers would enjoy less and contractual benefits for their same qualification, same or more advanced qualities and for same job responsibilities comparing to their 70% counterpart. As a result of this, will they involve whole-heartedly or will they give their full efforts? So, ultimately quality of education in government schools would suffer. The decision of the government is nothing but a clever and deliberate diplomacy to withdraw government's support to education.

Who will think to rectify this decision—whether election and opinion of voters or the sensitive citizen intellectual or opponents?
Harashankar Adhikari, Kolkata

The Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh says that "unnecessary importance" is being given to lynchings. The Union Home Minister seems to consider lynching an Indian tradition, saying "It's not like lynching has been happening only in the last few year....". The Minister of State for Civil Aviation celebrates lynching by garlanding the men who were convicted of killing a cattle trader in Jharkhand.

These worthies are elected representatives who belong to the same party as does the Prime Minister, and the second and third are in his cabinet. In keeping with the dignity of his office, he remains silent.
Mukul Dube, New Delhi

Vol. 51, No.7, Aug 19 - 25, 2018